Among the debates that animate the web of nutrition, there is one that gives rise to the most heated discussions: sugar. Indispensable to our pleasure, it can, if consumed in excess, be harmful to our health. This is why at Les Miraculeux we have chosen to reduce the sugar content of our gummies by mainly using fructooligosaccharides in our recipe. So, let's take a closer look at what it is!
What are fructooligosaccharides?
- fructooligosaccharides (or FOS) are dietary fiber having a taste naturally sweet. They are made up of two well-known sugars: fructose and glucose. But having a particular structure, they resist the enzymatic activity of our organism and are not not absorbed in the small intestine. Therefore, they arrive intact at colon level, where they are degraded and fermented by bacteria in our gut microbiota.
Origin of fructooligosaccharides
FOS are naturally present in several foods such as wheat, barley, chicory, garlic, asparagus, onion or artichoke. Their synthesis is carried out thanks to the action of a fungus (Aspergillus nigricans) which naturally produces an enzyme capable of transform sucrose (table sugar) in fructooligosaccharide.
Why consume fructooligosaccharides
Fructooligosaccharides are sources of soluble fiber
FOS are soluble fiber, which are as their name suggests, soluble in water. On contact, they form a viscous gel allowing to gently regulate intestinal transit. Also, fibers are known to slow down and decrease the absorption of sugar in the intestine. Thus, blood sugar (blood sugar level) rises less after a meal rich in fiber!
Fructooligosaccharides promote the proliferation of beneficial intestinal bacteria
FOS are soluble fibers called "Fermentable", that is to say, they serve as a food substrate (food) for certain bacteria and provide them with energy necessary for their survival and proper functioning. Thus, fructooligosaccharides are today considered to be one of the best sources of prebiotics, compounds capable of stimulating the growth and / or activity of colonic bacteria exerting a beneficial action on our health.
Fructooligosaccharides contribute to the good health of the intestinal mucosa
The breakdown of FOS by intestinal bacteria results in the formation of compounds called post-biotics that have positive effects on our body. These substances are essentially short chain fatty acids (AGCC). Main “fuels” for intestinal cells, they are essential for themaintenance and renewal of the walls of our intestine. Fructooligosaccharides can therefore indirectly contribute to the maintenance of good health and the proper functioning of our intestinal mucosa.
Fructooligosaccharides are low in calories
Fructooligosaccharides contain only 2kcal / g (energy that comes from the combustion of short-chain fatty acids by the cells of the intestinal mucosa) which is significantly lower than 4 kcal / g contained in classic sugar.
Precautions to take before consuming fructooligosaccharides
Consumption of fiber such as fructooligosaccharides can in some cases cause or add to existing digestive problems (stomach aches, bloating, flatulence…). Thus, people with poor fiber tolerance (for example, with irritable bowel syndrome) should limit or at least gradually introduce FOS in their diet.
To remember : Fructooligosaccharides are low calorie soluble fibers with a naturally sweet taste. Thanks to their prebiotic effect, they contribute to the well-being of our intestinal microbiota!
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Le Bourgot, C., Apper, E., Blat, S., & Respondek, F. (2018). Fructooligosaccharides and glucose homeostasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis in animal models. Nutrition & metabolism, 15, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-018-0245-3
Martins, GN, Ureta, MM, Tymczyszyn, EE, Castilho, PC, & Gomez-Zavaglia, A. (2019). Technological Aspects of the Production of Fructo and Galacto-Oligosaccharides. Enzymatic Synthesis and Hydrolysis. Frontiers in nutrition, 6, 78. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2019.00078